HELLO, MY NAME IS CATHERINE AND I AM A BOOK ADDICT.
Seriously, I have a problem with wanting to read TOO much. In fact, it used to be a problem for my budget. I would spend massive amounts of money buying books...I would read them once, let them sit on a bookshelf for a while, and eventually give them away. But now, thanks to our amazing public libraries, I DO NOT BUY BOOKS. The library has a massive collection of digital books. There are classics, bestsellers, newly released books and just about anything that you would find on the shelves of a bookstore. You can download a book to your phone, ipad, Kindle or other device in under 10 seconds! This has been life-changing for me! All you need is a free library card and you have access to millions of books for everyone in the family! There are so many advantages of checking out digital books: First, there are no overdue fees. After your loan period is over, the book goes directly back to the library. You can return the book early, but if you forget, then it disappears from your device. (I find this so freaky!) Secondly, digital books can be borrowed in an ebook version or an audio version. Long car trips are now enjoyable because you can download an audiobook to listen to along the way. I have also found that struggling readers can benefit from listening to an audiobook, while holding a print copy of the book. My 14 year old uses this method for his summer reading every year. It motivates him to keep reading. Lastly, you do not even have to get out of your pajamas on a Saturday morning to get a new book! Need I say more?
I’m going to give you simple, step by step instructions of how you can take advantage of your tax dollars and gain access to all of the free books from our public library. It is fairly intuitive, and you may not even need all of the following instructions, but I have provided pictures to help if you need them.
If you do not have a library card or can’t remember where yours is, simply go to any public library, fill out an application, and receive a free card. You will need your library card number to check out books online. Next, download OverDrive- it is a free app. You can get it from iTunes or Amazon- this will be the place where you are going to “store” all of your books. If you have a Kindle and already have the Kindle app, you can also choose to store your books there. (If you do not have a Kindle, disregard the last sentence.)
Once you have the OverDrive app, open it and search for the name of your library. If you live in East Baton Rouge Parish, you will search for East Baton Rouge Parish Library. If you live in another parish, search for the name of the library where you received your library card.
Once you have the name of your library saved in Overdrive, click on it, and it will send you to the library webpage. It will look something like this:
Search for the name of a book or author. I searched Because of Winn-Dixie. Below are my results
You can see one is an ebook and one is an audiobook. They are both available because it says ”Borrow.” If they were not available it would say “Place a hold” where you could choose to have the book check out to you as soon as it is available. If you place a hold on a book, you will receive an email when the book is available. It will just automatically show up on your “bookshelf” in OverDrive (again, very freaky.) But in my case above, the book is available and I want to check out the ebook version... so I click on the first book, and then select “Borrow.”
This is when your handy dandy library card comes into play. You will enter your library card number; just be sure to check the box “Remember my card number on this device” so your ipad or Kindle or phone or computer will remember your card number- then you won’t ever have to enter it again! Very convenient!
Once you have checked out one or more books, you will need to go to your “bookshelf.” It’s the book icon below.
You can then choose which version of the ebook to use. I always choose EPUB ebook so that it will download the book to my OverDrive app and I don’t need wifi to read it. If you have a Kindle or the Kindle app on your ipad or iphone, you could also choose the Kindle book, and the book will be stored there.
My hope is that this step by step process will help you find many, many books that you would like to read. If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can help you.
Catherine Word is the Lower School Librarian. She received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Alabama and her Masters of Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University. Before coming to Episcopal, she taught First Grade, Eighth Grade English, and was a Middle School Librarian. Catherine not only loves to help students fall in love with reading, but also creates an environment of creativity and exploration through participation in Maker Space. Her passion motivates her to stay current with library science skills to enhance student creativity and exploration through participation in programs such as Worlds of Making Makerspace Admiral Program. Catherine works side by side with technology staff and teachers in professional and student development through trainings and on-hand, in-class modeling.